Friday 2 December 2016

Looking back to argue about history is a part of what it is to be Irish

Gerard O'Regan

Published 08/10/2016 | 02:30

'The Autobiography - Eyewitness Accounts of Irish Life Since 1916' is edited by John Bowman (pictured)
'The Autobiography - Eyewitness Accounts of Irish Life Since 1916' is edited by John Bowman (pictured)

'If it was just the auld book, maybe - maybe - we might have been able to do something for you, but with marrying this foreign woman you have turned yourself into a hopeless case entirely.

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"And what anyhow entered your head to go and marry this foreign woman, when there are hundreds of thousands of Irish girls going around with their tongues out for a husband?" said the head of the Irish National Teachers Organisation to the young teacher.

The story has been recounted many times of how John McGahern lost his job in Belgrove Primary School in Dublin back in 1963, all because he had written a novel deemed to be unsuitable for public consumption.

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